Attachment and loss: the missing elephant and the screeching baby

IMG_0890My 4-year-old lost his favorite stuffed animal today, a floppy elephant named Ellie.

He sat dejectedly on the couch a little while after we got home. My husband sat down next to him and asked him how he was feeling.

“I miss Ellie.”

“Aww, man,” said my husband. There was a pause, then he asked our son again how he was feeling, going through specific, named emotions that time. Our son responded “no” to each one.

After a bit, my husband asked again, “What are you feeling right now?”

“No feelings.”

And after another pause, our son added, “Maybe someone will find her and bring her to our house.” Continue reading